Elinor Bedell State Park is a quiet oasis in Iowa nestled on the shores of one of Iowa's Great Lakes. RV campers will love all the aquatic adventure waiting for them on East Lake Okoboji. You'll want to make sure you packed your rod and reel in the campervan since you'll have the chance to catch catfish, bass, and bluegills. If you prefer to stay on land, you can stroll over 80 acres of land and soak in the serene landscape of open grasslands and wetlands. Amidst this beautiful scenery, you might be able to spot many native bird species from red-headed woodpeckers to Kentucky warblers. If you pack your bike in your trailer, you are in luck since many of the trails are open for cyclists too. While the campground is small with only eight sites for tents, RVs, or trailers, it makes up for it with amenities. Each site offers full hookups and can fit a rig up to 70 feet long. Whatever brings you to northern Iowa, Elinor Bedell State Park is a great place to sit back and relax for a while.
Elinor Bedell State Park, located near the northwestern state border of Iowa and Minnesota, provides year-round fun for the entire family. You may want to stop into one of the nearest towns with your camper, Superior, Orleans, or Spirit Lake, and pick up some groceries, visit a boutique, restaurant, or a small theater to watch a show.
The roads leading into the park are well-maintained, but you may want to look out for the occasional fallen tree. Reduce your speed as you approach the main office to check in and be on the lookout for visitors on the road. You can find a parking lot right next to the campground after you check in. Be sure to either walk or bike around the park for the best experience.
If you plan on arriving later than you had initially anticipated, you may want to call ahead and let the staff know when you plan on coming. Inclement weather may cause the park to close due to flooding. Be sure to keep an eye on the forecast and call the park, in case you need to cancel your reservation.
Elinor Bedell State Park gives a new meaning to cozy-camping. There are eight RV and trailer sites available for a stay of 14 days or less. Three of the sites are walk-in only, while the rest are available for reservations up to four months in advance. Each site comes with full hookups, leveled pads, partial shade from the sun, and privacy from your neighbor. Exploring the campsites, you will find a picnic table, bathrooms, showers, and a fire ring. All campers are required to have no more than six people and two cars to a site. If you have an additional vehicle, you will have to park it in the parking lot near the campground. The park prohibits visitors from burning non-local firewood in the fire rings. You can pick up local wood in town or purchase some from the main office. You are not permitted to gather and burn fallen trees.
A spirit of adventure can take you a long way from home. Try your hand at geocaching and get to know a little about the park and its mysteries. You will need a hunger for treasure, a GPS capable device, pen/pencil, your treasure to trade, comfy hiking boots, and a water bottle. Remember to leave each cache site as tidy as possible to keep the mystery going for the next thrill seeker.
If you have a love for fishing no matter what time of year it is, then Elinor Bedell State Park is the right place for you. You can enjoy one of the many fishing events that take place on the lakes in the area each year or fish from the shoreline. If you do intend to catch a few fish during the winter, remember to follow the rules of ice-fishing. Boats are available for rent both in town and from the park office. You will need a valid fishing license if you are over the age of 16 to fish in the state of Iowa.
Taking a few extra minutes to pick up a birding book in town will lead you to a whole new world above the brush. Iowa is home to more than 400 different species of birds. In the colder months, you can find the titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches warming up to visitors for food. Pack a bird snack or two in your RV and remember not to disturb a bird’s home to satisfy your curiosity. Bring your binoculars and an ear for decoding bird songs
Pack your campervan with your favorite pair of swimming trunks when you decide to visit Elinor Bedell State Park. The East Okoboji Lake runs alongside the park and provides open spaces for water activities. The shoreline of East Okoboji Lake provides a beautiful area for swimmers of all ages to make a few waves. Remember to wear sunscreen and keep an eye on your kids at all time.
Hopefully, you remembered to pack your bike on the back of your camper. You can explore the edge of the prairie lands or fall in love with the many-colored oak trees. Be sure to buckle your helmet and bring a water bottle on the trails as well. Maintain a steady speed and watch out for other hikers and animals that call the park home. After you have conquered the trails, take a break near one of the many picnic areas and enjoy the beautiful scenery near the lake.
Several miles of hiking trails are waiting for you to explore throughout the park. Put on your favorite pair of hiking boots and grab a water bottle as you tackle the easy to moderate trails. Drift through the oak savannah or climb your way through the wetlands, you will be sure to discover something new and exciting. Take a few moments to capture nature around you with a camera or relax on the trails and find a new favorite place to get away.